Wednesday, 27 February 2019


Thank you for all the interaction today.

What fabulous things you kind people say - both M. and I are very touched by all this.

I'm going to try something - I've changed the Bag End settings to allow comments from all.  This is because I have had some wonderful direct messages (you can use the 'Get In Touch' gadget on the side) from ladies who have said "I don't have a Google Account".  And I 'get' that, I will not use  Facebook.

So I have amended the comment settings to allow comments from anyone (well, I think that's what I've done!)  The price you pay for that is Verification . . .

If it all goes Pete Tong I can change the settings back to what they were (which is Google a/c only).

And now I am going to watch last night's Sewing Bee.  Like Jo at 'Through the Keyhole', I rarely watch live TV much preferring to record, and then fast forward through the adverts when it suits me.  Obviously there aren't adverts on Sewing Bee {grin} but I was too wiped out last night to enjoy it live.

Random thoughts

Disjointed.  Stream of consciousness.  Rambling.  
Writing is very cathartic, so I'm doing this just for me.  Same with sorting old photos.

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The house is  So. Damn. Quiet.  And there's no bed in front of the fire.  There is so much empty space.

I don't know what to do with myself.  I have so much time on my hands.

Caring for any beloved pet takes far more than putting down fresh food and water and going for a walk.  Only now Daisy is gone am I consciously aware of hundreds of thoughts which flashed through my head all day, every day:
  • where is she, is she OK, does she need to go out, the water bowl needs changing, is she cold, it's warm shall I take her coat off, did she eat those biscuits, pick that ball up, straighten that blankie, put that coat in the wash, wipe that mark off the glass, and dozens more; 
  • how many times a day did I stop to scratch in the soft hollow just at the bottom of her ear that she loved so much;  
  • plus the multiple micro-conversations:  hello poppet, beautiful girl, you OK?, what ya lookin' at, want to go out?, and on and on and on.  
A continuous mental dialogue, I have heard it described as "emotional care", looking after a child must be the same.  The endless mental check-list of what you've done, what you might need to do, what you notice.  I guess it is called love.

But it takes time, uses bandwidth,  and now it is gone.  It will be a while before I work out how to fill the void.

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Numb.  Shock.  Detachment.  I'm stuck in that early part of the grief process.  M. is doing better than me.  He has managed some tears thank goodness, because he's a bugger for bottling up his feelings and it's not healthy.  It is good he is going through the Anger bit.

He is very angry that a gentle soul who did nothing but bring love has gone.  He is angry because, slowing down and old age aside, Daisy was ridiculously healthy - her bloods last week were perfect and the heart murmur was still a barely detectable Grade 1.   He is angry because she had very good quality of life and should have enjoyed another year or two in front of the woodburner.  And he is quite right.

nicked the image from Pinterest, then tweaked it a bit:

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There is barely a room in the house that does not show a sign of the third person who lived here.  I have to move things, put it all away.  For some people, keeping stuff around is a comfort.  For me it just drives an ice-pick into my heart reminding me that Daisy is no longer here to snuggle in that fleece, chase that tennis ball, ask for her favourite coat to be put on (we knew when it was chilly and she wanted a little homemade 'house coat' - she would go to the basket where they were kept and nuzzle around in it until we noticed;  Damn, she was clever).

Little things hurt more than expected.  Like having her outdoor coat over the radiator in the boot-room so it was warm when we put it on.  And watching her eagerly put her head into the coat and positively luxuriate in the feel of it.  Then seeing the radiator bare.  I shall have to do something about that, for now it has a bit of quilt on it.

Then there is all the stuff which you don't "see", because it was always there, including but not limited to:  the bag of cotton wool balls next to the boot room sink for gently removing the "eye jelly" she was prone to, the rugs and runners EVERYWHERE so she would not slip on wood or vinyl floor, the whistle on a hook by the kitchen door - if I wasn't sure where in the garden Daisy had wandered off to, three quick 'peeps' would always bring her back, because she knew there was always a biscuit reward. Finding biscuits in the right-hand pocket of every feckin' jacket I own. And poo bags in the left-hand pocket.

Small, stupid things, but they are everything.

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Daisy is home.  Monday afternoon we took her to Paws to Rest.  On Tuesday M. drove back there, bless him, and brought her home.  Same bluebell scatter tube as Ollie.  It took me nearly four years to rest his ashes in the garden.  It took another year to realise I deeply regretted doing so.  Plans change, people change, but Daisy is staying with me.

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Friends:   Deliberately and by choice M. and I live a quiet little life here.  We don't see many folk and made a point not to tell any neighbours about Daisy.  Until last night; I sent an email to the other dog owners in our little hamlet, word will spread.  But we did not go through the last terrible five days alone.  The support I have had through the blog has taken my breath away and held me up when otherwise I would have stumbled and fallen.  I wanted to try to reply personally to everyone, but I realise that is just putting too much pressure on myself, I have to be sensible.  If I don't get back to you please forgive me, I am not being rude, I'm just trying to survive.

I had already said just how much comfort it was to receive a little note when Ollie died.  It has been even more so this time round, thank you all.  Whether a finely crafted private message with exceptional words, or just a {{hug  ❤️}} or something in between, it has all made a difference.

Although it is sad that so many people don't say anything.  I care very little about how many page views I get, Bag End is not that sort of blog.  Except that the posts this last week have had more views than almost anything else I have written in the last ten years.  So why didn't the rest of you bother to say 'sorry to read about Daisy'.  Am I unapproachable?  Were you just rubber-necking?  Were you thinking "thank crunchy it's happening to her and not me?"  I have always tried to say something, sometimes, on every blog I read.  Am I odd?  Is it me, or is it everyone else?  {weak smile}.

Monday, 25 February 2019

A last chat with a dear friend

"Come on Dearest Girl, off we go, one last little trip.

Don't stop and look behind for me like you usually do.  
Just pootle along, sniffing everything as you go.  
I am right behind you, I am always with you.

Where you are going will be so comfy, and warm, and safe, and peaceful, and you will never be alone, or scared or in pain, or hungry or cold.  You will never have to go in the car or campervan again.  You will never have to have a bath again, or get wet.  So don't worry about this place, things will be good there.

Where you are going there will be big beds of memory foam, covered with fleece, all soft and gentle on your skin.  In the Winter and probably Spring and Autumn too, there will be heated underblankets all night in a warm safe pod where you can snuggle down all cosy, but you can leave your nose poking out if you want.  You can eat nothing but duck strips and milky bones all day, and cheese, and drink milk, and get the foam left in my coffee cup whenever you like.

Where you are going those muscles will be firm and strong again and you can run zoomies until you have to stop to catch your breath, and chase the rugby ball up and down the garden.  There is a Sale Fell in puppy heaven and you won't even have to go in the car to get to it.

Rest now my beautiful girl, and do not be afraid.

It has been my absolute privilege to be your Human.  You realise you have completely rotted up any other dog's chances of having a home with me because there will never be another girl who is so kind, and gentle, and polite and well-mannered, and you never put a damn paw wrong, you really are Little Miss Perfect.  

You are the sweetest, most gentle, most wonderful little creature, and everyone who meets you loves you, but no-one knows you like we do, and no-one else knows just what an absolute little star you are.

No-one else knew you were a Talking Dog.  Oh my, could you hold a conversation when you wanted something, you didn't need to bark, you had so many words, so many grunts and wuffles, or the Bee Waggle dance, but now we're having one last chat, and it is time to say goodbye.

When you came to me I promised that you'd never be cold, or scared, or hungry ever again.  I don't think I ever broke that promise, but if you think otherwise you can stick around and kick my butt, and haunt me with fresh biscuit crumbs everywhere as soon as I've vacuumed.  But we both know you don't need to haunt me, your Spirit is sticking around anyway, aren't you?  

Off you go dearest baby, close your eyes now and go sleeps, we love you so much."

Doctors claim hearing is the last sense to shut down.  John said the same thing.  I told her all this last night, and again this morning when I swear she looked directly into my eyes and knew exactly what I was saying.

And then I told her again so that these were the last words my Darling Girl heard today.

You did not deserve this, you beautiful little girl.  You deserved years more in front of that wood burner, on those fleecey quilts.

It's not fair, but life is not fair.

Rest in Peace dearest girl.   One day we will be together again.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

It's hell, but in the circumstances we have done OK today

This is hellish.  The running down of the clock, the waiting;  wanting Monday to come quick and have this all done with, and never wanting Monday to come at all.

Sorry I have not replied to the wonderful comments on my last post, but thank you all so very much.  I learnt when we had to say goodbye to Ollie just how much comfort is to be gained from such touching little notes, when friends take a moment out of their day.  And emails too, special words from special people. Remarkably few tears, until I read someone else's blog where a little conversation about Daisy and I was going on.  Then I lost it big time at just how kind and thoughtful my friends are.  Gulp.

Given the appalling circumstances, by any measure today has generally been a good day.  I maxed out the painkiller dose first thing and it's worked.  Daisy has eaten well, really "pigging out" on her favourite food, and there have been far too many milky bones and bits of duck strip.  Which is as it should be.

She has played in the garden with me twice, slowly running down the lawn, ensuring the destroyed rugby ball is well and truly knackered, a gentle game of tug.  If she can behave like this when so ill we are doing something right.

But it is terrifying that in just a couple of days the tumour has grown enough that it can just be seen underneath the skin near her tail, and sometimes her walking looks wrong, which makes sense as she's got a huge lump in her pelvis. I have absolutely no doubt or worry that we're doing the right thing at the right time.  But naively, having been through this before, I thought it would hurt much less second time around.  I was wrong. It hurts every bit as much, if not more.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that I've been mindlessly scrolling through old archives.  There will doubtless be much more reminiscing to come.

Friday, 22 February 2019


An hour this morning with the most excellent sonographer you could ever hope to work with, thank you Julie.

The results could not be worse.
Despite all her bloods being within normal range, there is a massive nodular “bunch of grapes” tumour, the size of a small grapefruit, up against her colon.  Secondaries in spleen, possibly kidney also, although her liver seemed clear.  There was no point carrying on to the lungs.

We have an appointment for John to visit on Monday after his morning surgery. If that sounds quick and brutal it is because Daisy's quality of life is far, far more important than a few extra days and she is going to fade fast. I have seen too many dogs drag on in pain and discomfort because the owners are too bloody selfish to do the right thing.  Her needs override ours.

Thinking, talking, analysing, we believe Daisy was generally OK until about Christmas, certainly when she had a checkup last September John did not detect a tumour, so (a) this bastard lump is growing incredibly fast and (b) she's not been unwell for very long.  Both John and Julie have assured me that this was always going to be inoperable, and finding it any earlier would not have changed the outcome.  I'm completely in shock that a tumour could grow so large in a relatively slim dog, but not be discernible unless you search really hard:  just rubbing her tummy or stroking her like I do all the time doesn't reveal anything.

Darling Girl has painkillers to relieve the discomfort which this mass must be causing.  It was hard not to cry when she came into the garden with me earlier and had a slow little run about, played with her most favourite destroyed rugby ball, and stood in the sun taking in the scent of the warm Spring air.

We will have a quiet weekend at home, pottering in the garden, enjoying the promised sunshine.  She is currently not feeling bad enough stop trying to scrounge biscuits and treats at every opportunity.

Needless to say, the 'scrounging' is more successful than it has ever been.

Thursday, 21 February 2019


We are both somewhat 'poleaxed' today.  Despite suspecting there was something wrong, actually being told that is the case is an entirely different ballgame.  Until we know more we cannot make any plans, which is difficult for us but does not affect Daisy at all.  As far as Her Ladyship is concerned, today is just a normal day with all the food, walks, cuddles and warm comfy beds in front of the woodburner she can handle.

The comments from yesterday's posts, and the private notes I have received, are all so very much appreciated.  The kind words from thoughtful souls who took a moment out of their day to get in touch mean more to me than they can possibly imagine.  Thank you.

Popped into town this morning and dropped into a couple of charity shops, something I often do if I am walking past.  Today I definitely succumbed to 'completely unnecessary comfort spending'.  Well, at £10 for the lot, how could I not?

So much for minimalism, decluttering and only acquiring items I need and am going to use . . .

Wednesday, 20 February 2019


Well folks, there's no easy way to do this.   Little Miss Perfect and I went to the vet today, it was time for her six monthly 'old dog checkup' with Uncle John.

She has a large abdominal mass, John could feel it and all of a sudden, lots of small things make sense - eating grass, straining to poo, losing weight after Christmas, just being "off".  I don't want to sound callous but I was not surprised when I saw the look on John's face as he realised what it was he had to tell me.

There is probably some discomfort, but not serious pain; we are immediately increasing her daily dose of Loxicom.  Until Friday morning, when we have a scan done, we know nothing else and cannot begin to consider the best treatment plan for her.  We don't know exactly what this is, whether there are metastatic growths or if we have something slow.

What we do know, is that if there is any way to spoil our Darling Girl more than we already do, then that's what we'll be doing.

April 2017 - a happy girl enjoying the garden.  Definitely worth 'click to enlarge'  ☺️

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

A nice sort of tired

It rained Sunday night, therefore on Monday morning the soil behind the Top Pond wasn't really up to being walked on.  Without the tractor until our tyre was repaired I wanted to do something which did not require lugging buckets of bark chip up a 1 - in - 12 slope that gets steeper every time you push a wheelbarrow round it.  Sensible people would have gone in the greenhouse, I am not sensible 🤗

Did a couple of hours chopping back the evil hawthorn hedge at the front, and despite appropriate armour / protective clothing, it will be a week before my hands have recovered from multiple stabbings.  Got rained off, so that was the end of Monday.

Today was a surprise - forecast to rain but when I got back from an early appointment in town the weather seemed quiet, so I decided to carry on mulching the hawthorn hedge.  Many buckets later, and a bit of help from Management at the end, it was finished, all 35 metres of it.

The "small heap" in front of the caravan is all used up and we made a start on the really big heap.

Plus all the buckets are full for the next time.

Management has put the new tyre on my tractor, he now needs to work out whether he can tighten the drive belt or we need a new one.  It's loose and I am close to panic because without the Little Red Tractor to move things around I am completely stuffed . . .

I won't pretend I am not physically very tired at the end of these sessions, but as Marlene commented, "it's a nice tired".  And unlike the soul-sucking exhaustion of a stressful office, this is a tiredness that has pretty much gone after a soak in the bath and a good night's sleep.  Fortunate that, seeing as I'm only half way round the garden!